Ended on May 21st 2023
At the heart of all our wonderful communities in the Dandenong Ranges are our schools. Each one of them is working hard to provide positive learning experiences for the students in their care. We know taking advantage of what is offered is the best chance any young person has for a positive future.
Many students in the schools are grasping that opportunity and are thriving. However, others struggle. There is a wide range of reasons for that. We, as a community, could make a difference.
Research shows that a one-on-one mentoring relationship between a young person and a caring adult can provide a sense of connection and safety for that young person, creating a sense of hope for the future.
Feedback from a local Principal who had a mentoring program at her school confirms that.
Some of our more challenging students were mentored by a superb variety of mature community members.
It has made a genuine long-term difference to those students’ lives.”
– Sue Holmes, Principal Sherbrook Community School
My name is Jeanette Pritchard, a local member of the community, passionate about supporting young people. Early in 2021, I floated the dream of establishing a community mentoring program for our young people in the Dandenong Ranges. Ever since I set up the Standing Tall school-based mentoring program with the community of Hamilton many years ago I have been passionate about mentoring. That program, which we were told would fall over after a few years, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Being involved in that program was a humbling experience. I saw lives changed because of the goodwill and generosity of spirit of the mentors. The key to the success and sustainability of that program has been community ownership. When I was honoured, in 2011, to be awarded a Department of Education Excellence Award for Community School engagement, I felt the award should really have gone to the amazing community people who had shown up to be mentors.
Since moving to the Dandenong Ranges in 2014 I have worked with a number of local schools. My conversations with school personnel have made me want to establish a community mentoring program for young people here. I believe the strong sense of community that exists can make such a program successful. During 2021 I formed a Steering Group of local community members who shared my vision.
In 2022 the program started to get traction
– relationships were built with a number of local schools
– support was given by Belinda Grooby ( Tribe -Monbulk Youth Inc) and Meg Yates (Trek Learning), two great local women who have a strong understanding of the challenges faced by young people in our community and could see the value a mentoring program could add to the amazing programs which they run.
– the program was launched by James Merlino
– a number of community members made generous donations to get the ball rolling
– community members showed a willingness to become mentors.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
In 2023 we want to build on that solid foundation translate our dream into reality and establish a program that can make a significant impact.
We know that community buy-in will be the key to success. So with hope in our hearts and a belief in the strength and goodwill in our communities, we are moving forward with a Crowdfunding Campaign- a fantastic opportunity for community members and groups to support our young people.
We would like to acknowledge Val Jackson (‘The Nook’), Sam Boratav (‘ Kallista Tea Rooms’), Billy Crombie ( ‘Babaji’s Kerala Kitchen’) Glen McLeod (‘Glen Cooks Food’) and Josephine Horn ( ‘Kallista General Store) for their incredible generosity in supporting this endeavour
We want to make a real difference in the lives of 20 young people in our community
by setting up 20 mentoring matches in the next 12 months.
Establishing a mentoring match costs $3000.
Our target is $60,000
80%- Program Coordinator to train, screen and supervise volunteer mentors and their young people for 12 months
12%-Program costs including supervision in line with child-safe policies and procedures
8%- Child-safe screening and training platforms including online mentoring
ALL DONATIONS ARE FULLY TAX DEDUCTIBLE
Setting up safe mentoring relationships between adults and young people requires experience and expertise. We are fortunate to be working with Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia’s most respected mentoring organisation.
· Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia is committed to the safety, well-being, participation and empowerment of all children and young people. It has zero tolerance to child abuse.
· It is committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of young people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for young people with a disability
It is part of an organisation that operates in 14 countries which means it has access to
– policies and procedures which lead to best practice in mentoring·
-International Research and evaluation
· -BBBS branded online learning platforms
A COMMUNITY MENTORING PROGRAM FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
YES WE CAN
For further information contact Jeanette Pritchard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Member for Casey-Aaron Violi